Tag Archives: ads controversial

Unexpected Axe effect –on Unilever

There’s one side effect about not being entirely sincere about your marketing. You could get called out, ranted about, and exposed. Or you could get body slammed as in having someone create a mashup.

The latest is one guy’s take on the hypocrisy of attacking the ‘beauty industry’ by Dove Soap (if you’ve not seen the brilliant Unilever Dove commercial, stop now, and watch this) and the same company promoting radically sexed-up behavior for Axe.

The creator of the mashup is, um, an ad guy (a strategic planner) who has cleverly replaced the fast cuts depicting the beauty industry in the original commercial, with girls gone wildish cuts from Axe commercials.

Axe has been consistently positioned (as in the example, left) as a fantasy spray for men. See the funny but envelope-pushing long-form video about people with “unchecked libidos” and you’ll know.

Unilever must have factored this in to its marketing, knowing full well what it was entering when it attacked the beauty category defined by liposuction, botox, cosmetic surgery and all manner of dietary fads. They’ve pushed the pedal to the metal for some PR, and they’re getting a bit of consumer-generated whiplash.


Posted by on November 28, 2007 in Public Relations, Social Media